May 28, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings, once again from the Philippines. We have finished another very busy week. The internet still does not want to cooperate so we have not been able to SKYPE anyone for more that 2 to 3 minutes at a time. They are telling us that it is a problem over the entire island of Palawan and they will have it fixed by Friday June 1st. We have great hopes that it will be fixed then.
Tuesday morning we flew to Manila to attend a missionary fireside with Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The flight to Manila was another treat – I am beginning to think that they wait for me to fly so they can have their flight problems when I fly. This time it was an impatient pilot who couldn’t wait for the tractor to push the plane out onto the runway so between 2 other planes he decided to do a 180 degree turn. The ground crew finally stopped him just before he would have hit the wings of the plane next to him.
Well, things were delayed again because there wasn’t a place to land another plane and there was probably an investigation into the why this all happened (I hope someone will investigate this). Well, we did arrive in time to hear Elder Nelson. He is such a great teacher and he is so kind in his mannerisms. What a gentle and loving man – truly an apostle of Christ.
We had some extra free time in Manila so the Spencer’s were very gracious to take us shopping all day on Wednesday. Sister Spencer is from the Philippines and was able to show us some great stores to find stuff for the grandchildren. It still amazes me how many people there are in Manila and especially in the malls! They love to shop! We had a good time but it was exhausting. I had the opportunity to speak with some of the sales girls about the church. It was a good experience. They were grateful for the purchases we made but then I asked them if they were happy. I asked them to take those things that made them happy in their religion (they were ‘born again’) and to bring that to the LDS church and see if it will make them even happier. They were interested and sincere. We hope that something will come from our conversation. I asked them to give us a discount because we were such ‘good’ customers. They did. As we left, I spoke to them in Tagalog and told them that they were very kind and friendly to us and we were thankful that they treated us so well. I will never forget the look on their faces when I gave them a small tip for being so good to us. They smiled like only a Filipino can smile. I am certain that they don’t earn much as salary so I wanted to make sure that they had something for themselves.
Thursday we spent most of the day at the Area Office and the Family History Center to gather some information for some of the members we had been helping with their Family History. We are excited that there is such an interest in the Branch for genealogy. Friday was the trip to the Post Office and then waiting for the wood carver to come to the Mission Home. They finally arrived but had not finished our order. Don’t know how we will get it shipped home since we probably won’t be going back to Manila until we leave for home. Oh well!
Sunday we traveled to Aborlan to the Branch Conference. Both Mom and I were asked to speak. We have been doing a lot of speaking recently – more than we have our entire mission. It has been good for us. We enjoy meeting with the Saints and learning from them. After the Conference we hurried back to Narra to have the Branch Fireside. I talked about strengthening the Church by strengthening our families. After the fireside we went home and packed a few things and we were off to Puerto for Monday’s Zone Conference. We had reserved a hotel room so that we wouldn’t have to wake up at 3:30 am to make it to Zone Conference on time. What a busy week. But it was fun and inspirational. We learned a lot from Elder Nelson.
|Elder Kunzler, Elder Duero, Liboy, and Elder Declaro|
|gathering for the fireside|
|Elder & Sister Paddock, Elder & Sister Spencer|
The weather is still hot but the afternoon showers are getting more frequent. We are moving into the rainy season next month. This should be interesting to see how much rain comes down over here on the island. In my reasoning, I somehow expect more rain over here. We will see.
We are doing well. We are healthy and happy. We miss you all very much and are excited to see everyone soon. The time is going by quickly. We hope that you are all doing well. We pray for you every day and know that Heavenly Father is watching over you. We hope to be able to SKYPE this next week. Remember to BE good, DO good and BE men and women of Christ. And always remember to say your prayers.
Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant